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Saturday, January 19, 2008

NFL Picks

Ok, so another crappy week last week, going 2-2. That puts me at 4-4 in the playoffs. How spectacularly mediocre. That means that in order to finish the 7-4 i predicted, i need to go 3-0 for the conference championships and Super Bowl. Yikes. Anyway, on to the picks.

New England -14 over San Diego
First off, both of the lines this week are way too high. Or, at least, higher than i thought they would be. Which sucks. Second, this San Diego team is hard to figure out. Are they really that good? With Philip Rivers and Norv! leading this team? And losing Rivers and LT during the game last week? Really?

I still don't trust them. I just can't! 14 points is a lot though, even on the road. And the Patriots haven't been covering at all lately. Still, i don't think the Chargers can hang, especially with Rivers, LT, and Gates all questionable.

Green Bay -7.5 over New York Giants
I don't like that this line has gone up a half point, i would feel a lot better if it was at 7. The forecast for Sunday in Green Bay is a high in the single digits, with wind chills below 0. Yes, the Giants play in cold weather, but the Packers, especially Brett Favre, are built for weather like this. I think they get ahead early, and after three weeks of solid performances by Eli, i think he takes a step back and struggles mightily. I like a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl.

Actually, no, i HATE a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl, but i think that's what we're gonna get stuck with...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Your Phoenix Coyotes

Ok folks, here's the deal: I spent a few posts over the summer, back when i was just starting this lovely little blog, writing about i had lost all interest in the hockey the last few years, did not watch it anymore, and really couldn't see myself getting back into it because the Coyotes have been, historically, really bad. Not exactly a team that draws you back in, right?

Well, not right. In fact, way, way off from being right. This young team, as i'm just starting to discover, is really entertaining. And, they're actually pretty good. They started off just a touch slow, but have been playing really well as of late, putting together a four game and five game winning streak in the last month.

With 49 points, the Coyotes currently sit in 10th place, but just four points separate them from the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. While it might have been ambitious going into the season to shoot for the playoffs, at this point in the season i think you have to be thinking about it and setting it as a goal. They have played well enough of late, showing an ability to put up goals and coming up with big saves.

The Coyotes themselves are an interesting mix when you think about it. They have a big-name (if unproven) coach in Wayne Gretzky. The have some hard-nosed veterans in Shane Doan, Steven Reinprecht, and Ed Jovanovski. They have some great young talent in Peter Mueller, Keith Yandle, and Radim Vrbata. And they have a young up-and-comer, potential lockdown goalie in Ilya Bryzgalov. And not for nothing, but they have one of the best announcers in the game, Darren Pang, as their TV color guy.

This seems like it should be a big-time franchise then, right?

Only it's Phoenix, a town notorious for being indifferent to sports teams unless they are great. And the Coyotes have been anything but great the last few years, finishing below .500 and missing the playoffs every season since 2001-2002.

But the base has been built here in the desert. The Coyotes spent the last few years telling fans they were in a rebuilding phase, and now we are starting to see the progress of that rebuilding. They have good young talent. They have talent in the farm system (Kyle Turris at UW). They have a coach is is coming into his own. And they have a fan base that is beginning to take notice.

The Coyotes may or may not make the playoffs this year, though the way they have been playing i wouldn't count them out. Regardless, what i am excited about, and what other fans here in the Valley should be excited about as well, is that the Coyotes will be good. And soon.

Plus, they have me watching hockey again, and being entertained. And though it's debatable whether or not i need more sports to watch, i certainly enjoy it...